It’s dusty and littered with dog hair. The second part is unsurprising, everything in my house seems to be. The jacket is crinkled and the edges curled and tattered. I’ve never really liked jackets on books. The character of a book is inside, obviously. I guess that’s why there are always agonizingly generic pictures on book covers. A young hand holding an apple, a peaceful stream. Give me a break. The first thing I do is slip the jacket off, free it from its stuffy confines. I run my finger down the spine and flip it open. The pages are yellowed, and they split open to a dried, pressed rose. I don’t even remember what that was for. Everything changes.
I like books. I don’t read as much as I used to, as much as I should. I’m getting older and more cynical, I think that not reading accelerates those things. Depending on who you talk to books are either happy distractions or the savior for a lost generation, too lazy to spell out complete words. I suppose I fall somewhere in the middle. I like the same things about bourbon that I like about books. I feel like the right one, at the right time, can change things for you. Bourbon and books are affordable luxuries. They are tiny personal adventures, a pocket universe that you get to escape to. The right book or the right drink make life special, bearable. But the right book and the right drink? They can make life complete.
Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2013
103.2 Proof (51.6 abv)
Elegant and refined. Sweet varnish, warm white sugar, golden apples, ripe pear, autumn spice, gentle stiff oak, toasted vanilla, chocolate covered cherries. The notes dance subtly and beautifully around a core of familiar Four Roses sweetness and fruit with bright uplifting oak. The way the aromas dance out of this bourbon is playful and familiar, but mysterious and graceful. The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Luxurious brandied fruits, maraschino cherry. Weighty, velvet mouthfeel with quick hitting, almost elusive taste elements. Rich red berries, brown sugar, oranges and clove, gentle black pepper lays down a layer of subtle prickles as the sip moves back to light oak, bitter orchard fruit notes.
Warm and lengthy with notes of black cherry and vanilla, dry, dusty oak, rose water and lingering ticklish spice.
This years Limited Edition Small Batch is composed of a mingling of 3 bourbons: 18 year OBSV (High rye, delicate fruitiness) 13 year OBSK (High rye, spicy) and OESK (Lower rye, spicy). Standalone any of these Four Roses Recipes serve as masterpieces of whiskey, but their marriage in this release is a sum greater than its parts.
Elegant and subtle, if not a bit understated. This bourbon is familiar and the flavors are perfectly balanced. This is easy drinking even at barrel proof. It is cordial and cohesive, expertly layered and organized. I originally felt like the potential of this bourbon may be scaled back a bit because it is so damn even keeled, but it is perilously drinkable and subtly complex if you take the time to unfold all of the corners. An old friend, a great book, a classic opera. Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition is a monumental expression of whiskey.
“I am not a smart man, particularly, but one day, at long last, I stumbled from the dark woods of my own, and my family’s, and my country’s past, holding in my hands these truths: that love grows from the rich loam of forgiveness; that mongrels make good dogs; that the evidence of God exists in the roundness of things. This much, at least, I’ve figured out. I know this much is true.”
― Wally Lamb, I Know This Much Is True
Until next time, you have the bridge.